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Kenneth R. Warren, Ph.D., a nationally-recognized expert on alcohol and pregnancy, and a long-time senior administrator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) became Acting Director of NIAAA on November 1, 2008, following the retirement of Ting-Kai Li, M.D. on October 31, 2008. Dr. Li had served as NIAAA Director from November 2002 through October 2008.
Dr. Warren was named as the NIAAA Deputy Director in February 2008 and he has served Acting Director of the Institute from November 2008 until the present. He joined NIAAA in 1976 as a staff member of the then Division of Research. He later became chief of the Biomedical Research Branch, and then deputy director of the Division of Extramural Research. From 1984 to 2005 he directed the Office of Scientific Affairs, whose responsibilities included peer review, grants management, committee management, scientific communications, and activities of the NIAAA National Advisory Council and Extramural Advisory Board. From 2002 to 2007, Dr. Warren served as Associate Director for Basic Research.
A graduate of the City College of New York, Dr. Warren earned his doctorate degree in Biochemistry from Michigan State University in 1970. He subsequently undertook postdoctoral positions at the University of California, Los Angeles and at University of Michigan Mental Health Research Institute before joining the Federal government in a research position at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in 1974.
Dr. Warren has maintained an active interest in all areas of alcohol and health and in past years often served as the editor of the triennial Reports to Congress on Alcohol and Health. He has been particularly active in research on the effects of alcohol use during pregnancy, including fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Dr. Warren initiated NIAAA’s research program on FAS over 30 years ago. He currently chairs the government-wide Interagency Coordinating Committee on FAS.
Dr. Warren has received numerous honors, including a superior service award from the Public Health Service in 1982 for his work in development of the first Surgeon General’s Advisory on FAS. In 1994, Dr. Warren received the Seixas Award from the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA). In 2002, he received the Henry Rosett Award from the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Study Group of RSA. In 2007, the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) honored Dr. Warren by placing his name into their Tom and Linda Daschle FASD Hall of Fame, followed by the receipt of the NOFAS Excellence Award in 2008.